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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of May 20, 2007

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Another kind of Assault on Reason: Al Gore's new book has a 29-word title.  

FICTION:

The Overlook by Michael Connelly

In Connelly’s compelling and 13th Harry Bosch novel, Bosch has been promoted from the LAPD Open Unsolved Unit to the Homicide Special Unit. He gets his first case when the body of a physicist with access to radioactive cesium is found on an overlook near Mulholland Drive. With the discovery that a large quantity of the deadly material disappeared shortly before the killing, and clues indicating a possible terrorist plot, the investigation is intensified. Bosch, with the help of his former flame, FBI agent Rachel Walling, and a new rookie partner, must not only pursue the killers but also jockey for jurisdictional position with Homeland Security.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

After 103 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and with four million copies of The Kite Runner shipped, the Afghan-American Hosseini returns with an epic of an Afghanistan in chaos. Spanning three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war, and Taliban oppression, Hosseini’s new novel is rendered through the lives of two women of different generations married to the same abusive man. With carefully-crafted detail Hosseini tells the story of Mariam, who was forced to marry 40-year-old Rasheed when she was only 15. Then, 18 years later, her revengeful and childless husband takes an even younger wife, Laila. The two women become allies in a society dependent on fathers, husbands, and especially sons — the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. Custom and law promises that "There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten.” And, moreover, A Thousand Splendid Suns promises to be a compelling, humanistic, and harrowing read.

The Serpent Bride: Darkglass Mountain, Book One by Sara Douglass

Requiem for an Assassin by Barry Eisler 

A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans

The Margarets by Sheri S. Tepper

NONFICTION:

Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip-Hop by Michael Eric Dyson

The Assault on Reason: How the Politics of Fear, Secrecy, and Blind Faith Subvert Wise Decision Making, Degrade Our Democracy, and Put Our Country and Our World in Peril by Al Gore

People Get Screwed All the Time: Protecting Yourself From Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print, and More by Robert Massi

The Card: Collectors, Con Men, and the True Story of History's Most Desired Baseball Card by Michael O'Keeffe, Teri Thompson

The Reagan Diaries by Ronald Reagan, Douglas Brinkley, Douglas Brinkley (Editor)

Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Cote D'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella by David Shalleck, Mario Batali, Erol Munuz, With Erol Munuz, Foreword by Mario Batali

Dinner with Dad: One Man's Epic Struggle to Make It Home, Make a Meal, and Sit Down with His Family by Cameron Stracher

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